Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Join me on my Adventures in Elementary Education

African American History Month Project


We will be completing an African American History Month research  project this week and next week in class during our afternoons.  Each student will be responsible for researching an African American Inventor, gathering information and creating an info-graphic poster about the inventor and the importance of the invention.  Details about the project can be found in the Powerpoint  presentation below.  Students will be viewing the presentation in class this week, but will have access to review it as necessary. 


The Weather Outside is Frightful, but the Learning in Room 11 is So Delightful!


blog pic snowI hope you all enjoyed our first snowfall of the season!  I know my kids did!  We even got to go horseback riding in the snow!  While that was a pretty cool way to end the weekend, I’m afraid I may be suffering for the next few days with a nasty cold.  Don’t worry though, I will be here for the awesome activities planned this week!  For a preview of what we are going to be learning this week take a peek at our objectives below!




This week we will be continuing our work with fractions by comparing and ordering them on a number line.  Please take a peek at the video below to help preview or review this topic as it can be a bit tricky.


Ordering fractions: Finding common denominators of multiple fractions to order them


We will be continuing our novel study of The Chocolate Touch this week.  In centers we will be defining new words, answering open ended questions, and comparing and contrasting the plot in The Chocolate Touch to that of King Midas and the Golden Touch.

Monday- Chapter 6  (Quiz Monday afternoon on Chapters 4-6)


Tuesday- Chapter 7


Wednesday- Chapter 8


Thursday- Chapter 9 ( I will upload this chapter when I get my voice back!  By the end of Chapter 8 I was barely whispering!)  Quiz Thursday afternoon on Chapters 7-9

Friday- Chapter 10 ( I will upload this chapter when I get my voice back!)

Also on Thursday and Friday I have built time into our schedule for students to work on their projects in class if necessary in the afternoons.

Finally we are going to sneak in some writing into a creative project this week!  Students will be applying to be elves in Santa’s workshop.  As part of the process they will need to fill out an application, prove creativity by designing a new toy, pass a math test by calculating the 12 Days of Christmas costs, and persuade Santa with a letter.  The Prezi below will help students to write a good perusasive letter.


Monday Begins Our Chocolate Touch Unit! It’s Going to be Sweet!


I hope you and your families enjoyed a relaxing Thanksgiving and you got some good deals for those of you brave enough to go shopping on Black Friday.  I enjoyed every minute of time with my family eating delicious food, decorating the house (the day after Thanksgiving of course!), and picking out and cutting down our Christmas tree.  Although I was busy this weekend, I made sure to get my plans done for the coming week.  I am so excited to start our novel study of The Chocolate Touch this week.  So that you can follow along with what we are doing in class, I have created educreations lessons with the vocabulary words for each chapter, comprehension questions, and a narration of the story by yours truly.  Enjoy!  Here are this weeks goals and objectives:


This week we will be review factors, multiples, prime and composite numbers and beginning to work with equivalent fractions.  The video below will help you to review at home:


Recognizing prime numbers: Recognizing Prime Numbers

This link will help to understand the concept of equivalent fractions.   Fractions by Math is Fun


Monday- We will be starting our Chocolate Touch Adventure today with chapter 1:


Tuesday we will cover chapter 2:


Wednesday we will be reading chapter 3:


Thursday we will be reading chapter 4:


And finally on Friday we will be almost half way through our novel when we complete chapter 5:



This week we will be continuing working with electric circuits and taking it to the next level by adding switches to control the flow of energy.  I’m also excited to try out our new ipad app that simulates electric circuits!

Social Studies

Students will begin working on a study of winter holidays celebrated by the many cultures in our area with a concentration on Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Virtual Field Trip to the Plimoth Plantation to Attend the First Thanksgiving


This week we will be taking a trip way back in time to the first Thanksgiving. Ok, I did not develop a time machine (though that would be AMAZING and I would so take a year off to re-examine life choices and visit places I’ve read about ), rather we will be using the amazing site put together by one of my favorite publishers, Scholastic. We will be visiting the settlers and the Wampanoag Native American tribe to learn about life for children at the beginning of our country’s exisistance. Students will be using the information they gather to write their next full length writing piece comparing and contrasting Thanksgiving now with the First Thanksgiving.

Take a peek at the website we will be using curtesy of

Thanksgiving Historical Investigation

In addition to this investigation we will be wrapping up out math topic 10 with a quiz on Tuesday.
Also a reminder that our Attitude of Gratitude journals are due on Wednesday for a Social Studies test grade!


Delving into History with The Navajo Code Talkers- Weekly Objectives 10/28-11/1



navajo code talkersThis week we will be beginning our investigation into historical non fiction.  We will be beginning with the epic story of The Navajo Code Talkers.  What an amazing group of men!  In addition to learning about these brave Native Americans, we will also be beginning our Social Studies unit on the Native American tribes of NJ. 

Our week is jam packed with learning and activities.  On Monday, we will be having a special guest come in to observe my teaching.  As part of our process to ensure that all students are receiving outstanding educational opportunities in our district, each teacher is observed 3 times a year by a supervisor.  My first observation is Monday morning and I know that my students are going to blow Mrs. Colacurccio out of the water with their awesomeness!  On Tuesday, the class will have thier first full day guest teacher for the year.  I am also sure that they will impress our guest teacher, Mrs. Kelley, with thier cooperation, great behavior, and hard work.  In addistion to our guest teacher Tuesday, it is also School Picture Day so please dress to the nines and remember your picture money.  Tuesday night is our annual Halloween Frolic.  There are many new additions to this awesome tradition this year including healthy snacks for $1, a hay ride, and a costume competition and dance in the gym.  Wednesday and Friday we will be hosting our college students from CCC who are in observing us this month.  Thursday we will be having our Halloween Party. Look for a flier on Monday highlighting snack ideas to send in.  Below are the learning objectives we are somehow fitting in:


Students will be learning how to multiply 2, 3, and 4 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers this week!  We will also be having a multiples of 10 and 100 test on Tuesday.

2-digit times 1-digit number: Multiplying a 2-digit times a 1-digit number


This week we will be reading about The Navajo Code Talkers.  Please click on the following link to learn some background information about these amazing men.  Navajo Code Talkers

We will also be working with sequencing events in a story as well as writing instructions in a sequential order.  The video below will help to review why sequencing is important.


Unit 1 is Complete!!!!! Moving on to Unit 2. Weekly Objectives 10/21-10/25


We survived our first round of Model Assessments.  My students were assessed on both math and language arts skills that we have covered from the first week of school until last Friday.  I have to say they worked very hard and the data I received will help to guide my instruction for the coming unit.  We do have some areas that we will continue to review from Unit 1, but we need to shift our focus forward to Unit 2.  Please see our learning goals and lessons to support learning below:


This week we will be extending on our multiplication knowledge and working with multiples of 10 and 100.  Students will be looking for patterns and simpler problems to solve to help them with this concept.  For example:  5 x 200= 5 x 2 first and then add 2 zeros to the end of the answer  5 x 2= 10   add 2 zeros= 1000. 

Multiplying by multiples of 10:



We will be wrapping up our investigation with magnets this week.  So far we have experimented with what magnets stick to, whether magnets work underwater, whether magnets work through other materials such as a box, and researched industrial uses for magnets.  Students will have an oportunity to revisit these experiments this week and will be quizzed on magnets and their properties on Friday.  Please review the video below.



We will be combining reading and social studies for the next few weeks as we begin our study of the genre (type), Historical Non-Fiction.  Throughout our study of this genre we will be looking at identifying cause and effect, working with first and second hand accounts of historical events, and comparing and contrasting  life in the past to life today.

This website offers a great explanation and practice with Cause and Effect.

Another great tutorial with practice, this time for Compare and Contrast.

Here is a Prezi on First and Second Hand Accounts.


Back To School Night Info and Objectives for 9/16-9/20


Happy Saturday!  I am a day early with our objectives post because Mr. Sinone surpised me with Eagles tickets for tomorrow’s game!  How lucky is that!  So instead of posting after a long day of cheering on the birds, I am spending my Saturday afternoon planning for another AWESOME week. 

cell phone

Want to be kept up to date on due dates, important upcoming events, and other room 11 news?  Register for Remind101 and receive text message alerts from Mrs. Sinone to stay up to date.  Registering is easy!  Text @mrssino to 856-776-7166.  Once you’ve done this you will receive text messages whenever important events or due dates are coming up! 

Back to School Night will be this Tuesday, September 17th.  Please come out and meet our critters, visit our classroom, and of course earn your child a FREE HOMEWORK PASS!

Our Learning Goals for this week:


Monday:  Review multiplication properties and multiplication and division fact families for Tuesday’s Test.  See last week’s lesson links if you’d like to review at home as well.

Tuesday:  Topic 1 Test

Wednesday:  Students will be reviewing place value into the hundred thousands.  Lesson 3-1

Thursday:  Students will be able to understand that each place value position is related to the others.  For example the tens place is ten times as many as the ones place.  Lesson 3-2

Friday:  Students will be able to compare numbers into the hundren thousands.  Lesson 3-3


Language Arts:

This week we will be working with determining the main idea and supporting details of a story.  We will also be working to determine the author’s purpose for writing.  The slide shows below will help you to review these skills at home with your child.


Marshmallow Architects


On Friday we experienced what it is like to be an Architect. Prior to designing and building our own structures, we watched a YouTube video on what exactly an architect does. Check out the link below to watch the clip!

So You Want to Be an Architect”

Once we learned that the first job of an architect is to design, we worked in groups of 4-5 to draw a design for our structure to be created out of only mini marshmallows and tooth picks. Each group had 15 minutes to sketch a design. After they had a sketch, they worked as a group to implement their design. They had 1 hour, 1 bag of mini marshmallows, and 150 tooth picks to complete this task. The competition requirements were to have the tallest sturdiest tower. All structures would be measured at the end of the hour for height and again at the end of the day to see which group’s was the sturdiest. Groups also had to measure the length and width of the base and use those measurements to calculate the perimeter and area of the base.

Our winning group had an original height of 12 inches and an ending height of 6 inches.



Tech Us Out!


imageTonight was our annual Tech Showcase.  It is an evening dedicated to showing how 21st technology tools are integrated into our classrooms.  Teachers and students demonstrate and teach others, both adult and students, how to use tools and sites that we use in our rooms.  Four of my students volunteered their time and gave absolutely amazing presentations!  They spoke about how we use the classroom social media site, edmodo, in our class.  They discussed digital safety, collaboration with other classes around the world, and the importance of digital citizenship.  I am so proud of them!  They came up with their own presentations, answered questions, and spoke eloquently to many visitors!  These kids are tech superstars!


EGGstra Special Weekly Objectives! Week of March 25-28


This week, while being a short one, will be jam packed with EGGciting EGGsperiments, drama, sports, mystery and more! 

On Monday, my little thespians will be performing a scene from their guided reading stories from last week.  Each group was assigned a one act play to read to learn how to interpret text in a different way.  As a culminating event, they will be choosing and performing one scene from their play instead of taking a normal paper and pencil text.  Their plays will be recorded and posted to the blog for them to view and share with their families!

In Math this week, we are continuing to work with fractions.  We are focusing on making improper (top heavy) fractions into mixed numbers and vice versa.  To make an improper fraction a mixed number, divide the numerator by the denominator.  The answer is your whole number and your remainder is the new numerator for your new fraction.  Example:   7/5 = 1  2/5

To change a mixed number into an improper fraction, multiply your denominator by the whole number, add the numerator to that answer, and place your final answer over your denominator.  Example:  1  2/5= 5 x 1= 5,  5+2=7  improper fraction = 7/5

On Wednesday, we will be having our annual staff vs. student floor hockey game (here’s hoping I don’t break anything)!

Thursday is our school wide scavenger hunt as well as our EGGsperiment EGGstravaganza!  The experiments we will be conducting are as follows:

EGGsperiment #1- the volcanic egg

EGGsperiment # 2- Humpty Dumpty

EGGsperiment #3- The Incredible Shrinking (and Expanding) Egg

EGGsperiment #4- The Naked and Bouncing Egg

EGGsperiment #5- The Unbreakable Egg

Please dress your child in play clothes as this may get messy!

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